e-Biz Taking Root for Builders

New solutions from World Wide Wood Network, new funding for USBuild

Tempe, AZ ­ January 29, 2002 ­ Forget silicon! The real e-business action these days is in wood.

The World Wide Wood Network this week released new e-business for the wood products and building materials industry, while, USBuild, a supply chain company for production homebuilding, announced the completion of its second round of financing.

Privately held World Wide Wood Network, based in Yelm, Wash., facilitates the trading and transactional process between buyers and sellers of wood products and building materials.

The provider says its W3Net Commerce Platform and Supply Chain Management tools can aggregate, transform, translate and transmit critical business information and documents for companies in the wood products and building materials industry, electronically connecting suppliers and customers in a fully integrated business process.

The solutions can be integrated with virtually any existing back office system, according to the solution provider. "We have known from the beginning that the key to any Web-based business technology is the ability to electronically connect trading partners with each other or, put another way, to connect each enterprise with their supply chain trading partners," said Thomas Westbrook, the company's president and CEO. "Commerce Platform and Supply Chain Management tools have been designed from the outset to accomplish this tight integration between supply chain participants."

Also this week, Denver-based USBuild reported that it had completed its second round of funding, bringing the total raised to $15 million. This funding round included investors Woodside Fund, McCown De Leeuw & Co., Hanley-Wood, Pulte Homes and Building Materials Holding Corp.

USBuild has developed supply chain tools for builders, trade contractors and manufacturers involved in production homebuilding. The company's software enables builders to configure home orders, facilitate procurement and schedule product deliveries directly to job sites.

"This new infusion of capital will enable us to expand the company's capacity to serve its large homebuilder customers in our initial market in Colorado," said USBuild CEO Jim Kimzey.

"Pulte is making another investment in USBuild because we want to accelerate the rollout of the company's supply chain solution to more communities in Colorado, and then to other markets," said Alan Laing, vice president for supply chain and customer satisfaction for Pulte Homes.

In management changes, George Mac Connell will move from CEO to chairman, and co-founder Jim Kimzey moves from executive vice president to CEO and director.

The company claims that since its launch in January 2000, USBuild has signed key homebuilding customers that construct 40 percent of all new homes in the Denver market, saving those builders several hundred dollars for each home built using USBuild's supply chain solution.